February 19, 2013 - In this report, we review the Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposals for various resources and environmental protection departments and programs, including the Department of Water Resources, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of Parks and Recreation, California Energy Commission, and the Air Resources Board. We identify concerns with several of the proposals and make recommendations for legislative consideration. In some cases, we identify proposals that we think should be rejected or modified. In particular, we point out several budget proposals that would impact state expenditures in future years. We also note that the proposed budget includes several proposals to use certain revenues for different activities that may not be legally allowable given the revenue source. In addition, we identify several issues in the report that we believe merit greater legislative oversight, including a new surcharge on investor-owned utility electricity bills that the California Public Utilities Commission has been collecting since January 2012 without legislative authorization.
February 16, 2016 - The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes a total of $9 billion in expenditures from various sources for programs administered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
October 18, 2021 - The 2021‑22 budget package provides a total of $21.7 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and various special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. This is a net increase of $4.8 billion (22 percent) compared to 2020‑21 estimated expenditures.
Correction 10/22/21: Funding amount for CDFW has been corrected.
February 25, 2020 - In this report we assess several of the Governor's 2020-21 budget proposals in the natural resources and environmental protection program areas. This includes reviews of the Governor's proposals related to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
March 7, 2013 - Presented to: Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources and Environmental Protection Hon. Jim Beall, Chair
February 14, 2018 - In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. Below, we summarize our major findings and recommendations. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
October 17, 2019 - The 2019-20 budget includes over $12 billion for the state’s natural resources and environmental protection programs. This post describes budgetary actions related to the annual cap-and-trade expenditure plan, support for a new safe and affordable drinking water program, funding for a variety of wildfire prevention and response activities, as well as other significant changes.
February 22, 1994 - Analysis of the 1994-95 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter
February 3, 2009 - The Governor’s budget proposes only one significant budget-balancing solution in the resources and environmental protection areas—$350 million of loans from various special funds to the General Fund. We offer a number of recommendations for achieving General Fund savings beyond the Governor's proposal, including shifting funding for various programs from the General Fund to new or increased fees. Fees are an appropriate funding source in these cases, in our view, because the state is either providing a service directly to beneficiaries or administering a pollution control program that should be funded on a “polluter pays” basis. Our fee proposals relate to: (1) wildland fire protection, (2) fish and game regulation, (3) water quality regulation, and (4) scientific activities of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that support regulatory programs. We also recommend program reductions and/or expenditure deferrals in CalFire and the CALFED Bay-Delta Program to create additional General Fund savings. In addition, we assess the administration’s approach in evaluating alternatives to the way water is currently conveyed through the Delta as a key component of solving Delta water problems. We find that the analysis being conducted by the administration is too narrow to fully inform the Legislature of the costs, benefits, risks, and trade-offs of the various conveyance alternatives.
May 13, 2021 - For the second consecutive year, the state is experiencing extremely low rates of precipitation. As we prepare for what could be an extended period of dry conditions, it is helpful to review how the state responded to the last major drought. Such information can inform—and thereby potentially improve—the state’s current and ongoing response to developing conditions. In this report, we summarize the major activities, spending, and policy actions undertaken by the state to respond to the severe drought that occurred from 2012 through 2016. We also describe current conditions, and highlight some key lessons the Legislature can learn from previous efforts to help guide its response to the emerging drought.
March 22, 2017 - This report is intended to provide basic information about floods and flood management in California. (Whereas previous generations referred to “flood control” or “flood prevention” activities, experts now prefer the term “flood management” in acknowledgement that floodwaters are recurring and inevitable.) We begin by summarizing the history, causes, and risk of floods across the state. We then describe flood management agencies, infrastructure, and strategies, as well as how governmental agencies typically respond when floods occur. Next, we describe the spending levels and funding sources currently supporting flood management efforts, as well as estimates for how much additional funding may be needed to improve those efforts. We conclude by highlighting some key challenges confronting the state in contemplating how best to manage floods in California.
October 16, 2023 - The 2023‑24 budget package provides a total of $19.2 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, a number of special funds, and federal funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and Environmental Protection Agency. This is a net decrease of $15.5 billion (45 percent) compared to 2022‑23 estimated levels. This change is primarily due to a large amount of one-time funding—mostly from the General Fund—provided to departments within both agencies in 2022‑23.
March 6, 2019 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation
March 7, 2019 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation
February 21, 2014 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's 2014-15 budget for the state's resources and environmental protection programs. We review and make recommendations on a number of major policy proposals, including a review of the administration's recently released Water Action Plan as well as the proposal to reduce or eliminate several programs currently funded by the Beverage Container Recycling Fund (commonly referred to as the "bottle bill"). We find that these policy proposals are generally reasonable approaches, though we identify trade-offs in the proposals and offer recommendations for legislative consideration. The report also identifies several issues included in the Governor's budget that merit additional legislative oversight. This includes the proposal to provide the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with a total of $43 million from the General Fund to address deferred maintenance backlogs. While we find that it makes fiscal sense to address deferred maintenance, there is uncertainty about what factors have contributed to the large backlogs, as well as how the state can best address maintenance needs on an ongoing basis.